MJ News for 08/27/2014

7greeneyes

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http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/1...ck-obama-marijuana-not-more-dangerous-alcohol





NFL player poll: Pot not as dangerous




When President Barack Obama said earlier this year that he does not think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, his words resonated with NFL players.

At this point, however, that does not matter to those who enforce the NFL's substance abuse policy.

As part of a survey of 100-plus players conducted by ESPN.com's NFL Nation, 75 percent of the 82 players who answered said they agree with Obama's statement, which he made during an interview in January with The New Yorker.

Nevertheless, the commander in chief does not set or enforce NFL policy.

The NFL's substance abuse policy calls for players who test positive for marijuana to enter the league's drug program. Repeat offenders go to Stage 2 of the program, where another positive test results in a four-game suspension. Punishments for repeated offenses after that become more severe, according to the NFL's long and complex policy, which is 32 pages.

Any change would have to be agreed upon by both the NFL Players Association and the league, and league spokesman Greg Aiello would not say whether there are any ongoing discussions about a possible change to how marijuana fits into the policy.

"The policy is part of the [collective bargaining agreement]; it is collectively bargained," Aiello said. "We and the union are guided by the recommendations of our media advisers to the program."

As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational use, is the league's testing and discipline growing disproportionate? Kevin Seifert writes. Story

ESPN reported earlier this year that a renegotiation of the league's drug policy will significantly increase the threshold for a positive marijuana test and reduce the severity of punishes for those positive tests.

This offseason, the league had a high-profile marijuana case involving star Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who faces a season-long ban for a second positive test.

The NFL's discipline policy as a whole has come under fire this year after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received only a two-game suspension after being arrested for domestic violence.

In siding with Obama on the marijuana issue, the NFL players surveyed are essentially saying they believe the punishment does not fit the crime. That's perhaps even more understandable in places such as Denver and Seattle, as the two teams that played in the last Super Bowl are located in states where recreational marijuana is legal in certain amounts.
 

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http://www.nydailynews.com/life-sty...rijuana-infused-soda-coffee-article-1.1917981




Washington entrepreneur creates, bottles marijuana-infused soda, coffee




Call it pop, call it soda — it’s all made with weed.

A new line of cannabis carbonated beverages brewed by a Washington state entrepreneur promises a different kind of buzz to go along with your sugar rush.

“Legal” sparkling sodas infused with marijuana hit shelves at legal weed dispensaries around the state Monday, as did bottles of cold brewed coffee meant for pot aficionados looking for a different kind of edible.

It could even replace the traditional bottle of wine presented at dinner parties.

"It's much more approachable, as opposed to 'Hey, mom and dad, do you want to smoke a joint?'" drink creator Adam Stites told KGW-TV.

Stites’ company, called Mirth Provisions, provides the first marijuana drinkables to hit the market nearly two months after pot became legal in Washington on July 8. The cold brew coffees will allow you to “take on the day with a smooth buzz and a grin a mile wide,” the company’s website promises of the drink, which contains 20 milligrams of THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets you stoned.

A bottle of Sparkling Rainier Cherry, Lemon Ginger or Pomegranate provide 10 milligrams each of locally grown cannabis extract with all natural ingredients and are created specifically for different activities, be it “couch, meet butt,” or “riding through the clouds on the back of a mythological beast.”

The idea is we are going to put a reasonable dosage in here that you can kick back and casually drink the whole thing without worrying about how are you going to feel later," Stites told the NBC affiliate.

Stites will provide bottles of the drinks to eight different pot shops around the state.
 

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http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/08/26/dea-ratifies-spike-in-marijuana-for-research




DEA Ratifies Spike in Marijuana for Research




The federal government affirmed Tuesday a large increase in the amount of marijuana it plans to manufacture for research this year.

The Drug Enforcement Administration offered the production bump – from 46.3 pounds to 1,433 pounds – for public comment on May 5.

One person submitted a comment, which was supportive.

“The DEA appreciates the support for this adjusted 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana which will provide for the estimated scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States,” a Tuesday notice in the Federal Register says.

“The DEA has taken into consideration the one comment received during the 30-day period and the administrator has determined,” the notice says, the increase is appropriate.

The DEA gave preapproval to the increase in late April, citing urgent need for National Institute on Drug Abuse-facilitated research. But, the DEA said in a May notice, all comments from the public would be taken into consideration.

NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health, grows marijuana for approved research in partnership with the University of Mississippi.

The increase was necessary because the DEA underestimated researchers’ need when it calculated the initial annual quota in September.

In its May notice the DEA said it simply couldn’t wait for public comment before making the correction.

“Due to the manufacturing process unique to marijuana, including the length of time and conditions necessary to propagate and process the substance for distribution in 2014, it is necessary to adjust the initial, established 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana as soon as practicable,” the DEA said. “Accordingly, the administrator finds good cause to adjust the aggregate production quota for marijuana before accepting written comments from interested persons or holding a public hearing.”

A spokesman for the DEA referred questions about the increase to NIDA. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the uptick in demand. It's unclear how much marijuana has been produced to date this year.

A NIDA official told The Washington Post in May the agency was funding more than 100 grants for marijuana research, including 30 studies of the plant's “therapeutic uses." Critics say the agency disproportionately funds research into the downside of pot use.

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, who signed the Tuesday notice, is a critic of liberalizing marijuana laws. Leonhart refused to say during a June 2012 congressional hearing if marijuana is less harmful than crack or heroin. In January she criticized President Barack Obama for saying smoking pot is less harmful than drinking alcohol.

"Marijuana is so popular these days with voters, lawmakers and researchers that even the DEA can't continue to ignore it,” says Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell.

But Kris Hermes, a spokesman for the pro-medical marijuana group Americans for Safe Access, isn't cheering. He finds the increase "very fishy" and says he cannot recall a previous time the quota was offered for public comment.

Hermes also notes the annual pot-production quota was once higher.

In fact, throughout the Bush administration the quota was much higher. From 2005-2009 the annual quota was about 9,920 pounds, according to DEA fact sheets. Before that, from 2002-2004, the quota was about 1,852 pounds and in 2001 it was 1,100 pounds.

The quota hovered at 46.3 pounds beginning in 2010. Hermes says he doesn’t know why the quota dropped so dramatically that year.

"They still aren't divulging why the quota is increasing and why it's not increasing how much it has in the past," Hermes says. "It's shrouded in secrecy."

About half of U.S. states currently allow marijuana for medical use. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have established regulated recreational marijuana markets. Alaska and Oregon voters may legalize pot under state law in November and Florida voters may adopt medical marijuana. Despite liberalizing state laws, marijuana remains an illegal Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/b-real-marijuana-als-challenge_n_5718563.html




This Rapper Just Won The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge With Marijuana




Just when you thought all variations on the Ice Bucket Challenge had been exhausted, rapper B-Real from Cypress Hill shows up with a bucket of marijuana.

"I know we're going through a drought with water and all that stuff, so we're going to do it a little different, but I accept the challenge," B-Real, a noted marijuana advocate, says in a video posted last week to Hustla Subs, a hip-hop YouTube channel, just before a large bucket of marijuana buds is dumped over his head.

"Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson -- you've got 24 hours to accept," B-Real says at the end of the video, challenging three other celebrities with well-known affinities for cannabis.

We eagerly await responses from these three.

Donations inspired by the ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge -- in which participants pour a bucket of ice water on their heads to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative nerve disease -- have been coming in at an astounding rate since the practice went viral earlier this summer.

As of Tuesday, the ALS Association (ALSA) -- which fights the disease by funding research, supporting people with the condition and corralling federal resources -- had collected $88.5 million toward its efforts, a majority of which had been donated in the past seven days. It's a particularly stunning figure considering that the organization took in just $2.6 million in the same period last year, according to a statement released by the group.

And while B-Real is having some fun with the viral video craze, substituting marijuana for ice water, research suggests that the plant may in fact be an effective treatment for ALS. A study published earlier this year in the journal CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics found that Sativex, a drug developed by GW Pharmaceuticals that contains both cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana) and THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes the "high" sensation), may slow the progression of ALS symptoms in mice.

There is no known cure for ALS, a condition that affects the nerves and muscles of approximately 30,000 Americans at any given time, according to ALSA. More than 5,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually.
 

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http://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...years-iowa-for-iowans-with-epilepsy/14634181/



Cannabis oil 'light years away' for Iowa families




The Iowa parents who persuaded lawmakers last spring to approve the use of marijuana oil to treat epilepsy say they're nowhere close to obtaining the medicine for their children.

"I feel like it's still light years away," Sally Gaer said today. "We have a lot more work to do."

The West Des Moines mother helped persuade legislators to decriminalize possession of a marijuana extract for patients, like her daughter, who suffer seizures from epilepsy. But the law included no legal method for growing or selling the product. State administrators are still working out the details of how to issue ID cards allowing residents to possess marijuana extract bought in other states.

Gaer and other parents believe their children's seizures could be significantly dampened with a form of marijuana oil that has low levels of THC, the chemical that makes marijuana users high. But they remain unable to legally obtain the oil, which is said to have worked well in other states.

Gaer and another mother of epileptic children, Kim Novy of Altoona, spoke of their frustrations Tuesday in an interview after a hearing before state administrators.

The mothers noted that most publicity about the marijuana extract has focused on producers in Colorado. But Colorado law only allows sales of the medication to Colorado residents, they said. They've heard that once they have their Iowa-issued cards, they might be allowed to purchase the extract in Oregon. "What are we all going to do, get in a wagon train and go over the mountains?" Gaer said with a wry laugh.

The women said they were disappointed by how long it's taking Iowa officials to implement the law, which technically took effect July 1. "Everybody keeps coming up to me and saying, 'How's that oil working for your daughters?'" Novy said. She explains that her family is at least several months away being able to take advantage of the new law.

The women said they have found Iowa-licensed neurologists willing to sign a form recommending the marijuana extract for their children, as the Iowa law requires. However, the form has not been created yet by state officials. If the families can find an out-of-state supplier willing to sell the oil to them, they would face a cost of several hundred to more than a thousand dollars per month – plus the cost of travel. They also could risk arrest for carrying the oil through states that don't allow it.

Iowa Department of Public Health administrator Deborah Thompson said during the hearing that state officials hope to start issuing registration cards by the end of the year. She said she understood that people were frustrated by the pace of implementation. But, she added, "there are a lot of moving parts for any new program."

A few dozen Iowans participated in the hearing, either in Des Moines or via video linkups to other cities.

Several people raised concerns that Iowa's medical-marijuana law was limited to people who want to use the medication to control seizures from epilepsy.

"There's many other people that suffer that should not have to suffer like they do," said Linda Gale of Sioux City, who said she has Crohn's disease, an intestinal disorder that can cause chronic pain and nausea. She said she's been given heavy-duty pain pills for her condition.

"I'm not quite sure what the fear of cannabis oil is, when I take all these narcotics that make me sick and make me not be able to function," she said.

Boris Shcharansky of Des Moines wants the state to let his company obtain marijuana oil in other states and deliver it to families with medical needs in Iowa. He said any Iowa families who tried to use the current law to obtain marijuana for a child in Colorado would be committing a state crime there and a federal crime when they carried the medication across the border. "It is unacceptable to force families to break state and federal laws in order to obtain an oil that can, without exaggeration, save lives," he said. "The families dealing with the tragedy of epilepsy have gone through enough."

Thompson, the health-department administrator, responded to such points by urging people to contact their legislators.

Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, initially opposed efforts to legalize marijuana for any purpose, but he praised the limited bill during a public signing ceremony in June. His spokesman, Jimmy Centers, said Tuesday that health-department administrators are working as fast as they can, given that the Legislature declined to give them emergency rulemaking powers for this measure. "Gov. Branstad is committed to working, within the bounds of the law, to help Iowa families and their loved ones get the care they need," Centers said.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat who has spearheaded the effort to legalize medical marijuana, said Tuesday that he sympathizes with the families' frustrations.

Bolkcom praised Gaer, Novy and other parents who persevered last spring to get the Legislature's approval for the bill. He expressed optimism that legislators would listen to them again if they return to the Statehouse in January to explain problems with the new law. "I think these moms are 10 paces ahead of us on understanding what's going on," he said. "Our work ahead is identifying the barriers and moving them out of the way."

However, any effort to expand the law could face serious opposition. Rep. Clel Baudler, a Greenfield Republican known for his law-and-order views, was a key supporter of the limited medical marijuana bill last spring. Baudler, a retired state trooper, expressed skepticism Tuesday about the chances that lawmakers would approve major revisions next year. "I think most people want to see the results of this law before they jump in" to broaden it, he said.

Gaer and Novy said Tuesday that they will keep pushing. Gaer said she's rooting for a Congressional bill that would legalize interstate shipment of the marijuana oil for patients who need it. Both women said they remain optimistic. "You have to be," Novy said. "When you're in our situation, you can't give up hope. We live on hope."
 

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http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/b...lly-ill-children-at-risk-20140827-1096sv.html




(Australia) Bogus medical cannabis putting chronically ill children at risk




Desperate parents who believe they are using cannabis oil to treat chronically ill children could be administering nothing but methylated spirits, alcohol and water.

Forensic testing of medical marijuana has revealed dramatic variations in the contents of the product, which is often spruiked over the internet by unregulated producers who make bold claims about the benefits.

A Victoria Police analysis suggests up to 40 per cent of vials bought by Victorian families contained just methylated spirits, pure alcohol and water.

The results, seen by The Age, suggest in the remaining 60 per cent of vials tested, THC acid - the active component of cannabis - varied dramatically, ranging from low to high levels

The worrying analysis follows an election pledge from Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews to legalise access to medical marijuana for Victorians with life threatening conditions.

Labor has promised to instruct the Victorian Law Reform Commission to examine the prescription, manufacture and distribution of medical cannabis. But it remains unclear how the market for the product might be regulated under the plan.

Premier Denis Napthine and Health Minister David Davis have so far resisted demands to legalise access, arguing there is a need for more medical evidence and research.

There have been vocal campaigns from Victorian families who say they have successfully treated chronically ill children with medical marijuana when other medicines have not worked.

But The Age has seen internal state government documents raising concerns that a number of vials of medical cannabis bought by Victorian families and analysed for Victoria Police contained "a number of concerning substances", including methylated spirits and in another case "a high level of THC".

The finding appears to contradict claims from some producers who say the product contains low levels of THC, without the psychoactive effects associated with recreational cannabis use.

Lucy Haslam, whose son Daniel has been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, said the market for medical marijuana was unregulated, raising the prospect that unscrupulous operators had been "ripping off" cancer patients with inferior or dangerous products.

"We are aiming for an approach which will provide a more consistent product," Ms Haslam said. Ms Haslam said there was no consistency of supply, quality or price for the illegal product.

Damian Zammit, whose 10-year-old daughter Imogen has Dravet syndrome and has tried many medications, largely without success, said the danger was that without regulation medical cannabis might not be therapeutic, or might result in unwanted side effects.

"Without regulation you are going to get all sorts of unscrupulous people selling products to make money without caring about the end result," Mr Zammit said.

One company responsible for the manufacture of medical cannabis in Australia, Mullaways, claims it is dedicated to the development of products to treat diseases "with and without psychoactive properties".

"Mullaways will adhere to scientific methodologies to develop, produce, and commercialise cannabinoid-based traditional medicines," the company's website says.

Health Minister David Davis has asked his chief officer to provide more research on the issue, with the government believed to be more open to a medical, rather than a legal, approach to the issue.
 

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http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/anchorage-garden-supply-store-sells-cannabis-products/27747976




Anchorage Garden Supply Store Sells Cannabis Products




ANCHORAGE - With the primary election over, efforts on both sides of the marijuana debate are ramping up for the November general election.

Alaska’s laws are not black-and-white when it comes to pot, and one Anchorage business owner hopes to cash in on the legal gray area.

Robert Martin owns Southside Garden Supply, which has three stores in Spenard, South Anchorage and Muldoon.

Martin said two months ago, he started carrying cannnabidiol-infused products from HempMed.

CBD comes from cannabis, but it’s different from tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that gets marijuana users high.

“I hadn't seen where they were available anywhere in Anchorage, and because they're legal in all 50 states, I thought someone should represent one of the CBD manufacturers,” said Martin. “We found out from our travels abroad that, yeah, they could be sold.”

That’s not exactly true, said Jodie Underwood, a federal Drug Enforcement Agency spokesperson.

Underwood said because CBD comes from marijuana, the sale of it is illegal.

But Andrew Hard, a HempMed spokesperson, pointed to a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said DEA cannot regulate “non-psychoactive hemp products.”

Some medical marijuana patients say CBD helps with seizures and spasms. But to get medical-grade CBD, you need a doctor to sign off -- which users say is a challenge in Alaska, because the laws are not clear-cut.

They hope Ballot Measure 2 will change that.

“We certainly have compassion for folks that find comfort in medical marijuana, whatever the product may be, but that's not what Ballot Measure 2 is about,” said Kristina Woolston, a spokesperson for the group Big Marijuana, Big Mistake, Vote No on 2. “This is an extreme measure funded by an Outside organization that seeks to commercialize and industrialize and bring retail marijuana industry to Alaska.”

Backers of the ballot measure say passing it would help medical marijuana users.

“I think any other sort of reaction to this by the ‘Vote No’ group just shows the lengths they're willing to go to scare and confuse Alaska voters,” said Taylor Bickford, a spokesperson for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska. “I think any effort in Alaska to increase access to medical marijuana is a very good thing. The Journal of the American Medical Association just came out this week with a study that shows that any increased access to medicinal marijuana can lead to a decrease in overdose deaths from prescription drugs for example.”

As both sides lobby for votes, Martin hopes to fill a niche demand.
 
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